Manchester news The families of care home residents grieving a 'lost year' with their loved ones Manchester united news
PremierLeague-News.Com - 'It's just heartbreaking'
PremierLeague-News.Com - Breaking Sport Transfer News ! Families of care home relatives across Greater Manchester have welcomed a new rule allowing two relatives plus a baby to visit - but some have been left grieving for the 'lost year' with their loved one. On Monday, the Government will ease restrictions so that care home residents in England will be able to receive t wo, named regular face-to-face visitors – up from one allowed at present. Also, babies and children under the age of two will be able to accompany visitors, so grandparents can meet grandchildren born during Covid lockdown. For many relatives, this is the moment they have been waiting for and it's a time of celebration. But some families believe the move, which comes 13 months after the start of the pandemic, has come too late, or doesn't go far enough. Over the last year, many residents have suffered deteriorating health, exacerbated by the lack of contact with loved ones. Doreen Sutton, 91, is among them and tragically, her family feel they have 'already lost her'. Like thousands of other residents, Doreen, from Eccles, spent the last year in lockdown without a hug from her family - and she's now in hospital after her dementia worsened to the extent that her home in Salford can no longer care for her needs. Prior to the pandemic, daughter Lynne Hughes and her family would take Doreen out for coffee, walks, and to watch the barges. Since then, says Lynne, she's been 'trapped'. Lynne, 53, who lives in Wigan, told the Manchester Evening News : "The last time I held my mum was in March 2020. I feel like we've already lost her. We had pod visits but she couldn't really see us and the walkie talkies wouldnt' work properly. She thought she'd done something wrong. "We've not had physical contact with my mum for well over a year and we feel we've been robbed of this time with my mum, it's just heartbreaking." She added: "We feel the Government should have done more earlier. God forbid she doesn't come out of hospital." Doreen Sutton with her second husband Jim in the mid-80s. Lynne added: "Her skin colour is wrong because of lack of fresh air, she's deteriorated not having that contact with us. It's been a hell of a year, not just for me but for my sister and the grandchildren. She's never met her great-great grandchildren, she's missed so much. "I feel she's been robbed of the last years of her life. It's too little too late for my mum. Why weren't there at least garden visits? She craves love and she's been robbed of it." Lynne is not alone. Marion Panzica's family begged throughout lockdown for more access - and like Doreen, she’s now in hospital so her family won’t be able to visit on Monday. Marion, 82, has leukemia and suffers from the lung condition COPD. It's suspected she has the first signs of dementia. During lockdown, Marion's family say, she became despondent, confused, and could no longer recall the name of her beloved great-grandson. Marion's memory and mental health have deteriorated during lockdown, say her concerned family Since Marion's daughter Lisa started face-to-face visits last month, Marion's condition had begun to improve, but she now has pneumonia. Now Claire, from Saddleworth, and her family are awaiting her return to the care home in Droylsden so she can meet her eight-month-old grandaughter Sienna in person for the first time. Although grateful to be appointed Marion's 'second visitor', Claire admits she and her family feel short-changed by the strict Government rules on visiting during lockdown. She added: "The staff were able to work there and go home and then who knows what they were doing? "I feel like the residents are our family so of course we would have been careful. I would have taken tests, stayed at home if I had to. "Considering it's been 13 months the Government could have done more. "I believe we should be able to take her out - and we should have been able to long ago. "If I didn't have a baby I'd have just brought her to live with me. "I believe that if my nana had been able to see her family she would be better than she is. The staff aren't there to give her quality time - they are there to make sure she is fed, dressed and clean. They can't give her what her family can give her. Marion seeing her granddaughter for the first time - during a visit when the family were told to leave the grounds. "I believe she has deteriorated faster than she would have done as a result." Other relatives are pleased with how restrictions are being lifted gradually. Laura Hope is granddaughter to Rhoda Piggott, who suffers from dementia. During the last year, a lack of family contact due to Government restrictions has taken a toll on Rhoda's mental health, who before the pandemic was visited by her daughter Ivy Griffiths, 60 six times a week for four hours at a time. When care homes opened up for face-to-face visits last month, Ivy and Rhoda were overjoyed to be reunited at Failsworth's Acorn Lodge. From Monday, Laura will also be able to visit. Rhoda Piggott with daughter Ivy Griffiths She said: "It's perfect for me, it's restrictive for my brothers but it will work. We can take the tests at home and we are happy.
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. She even got to spend her birthday with her when she turned 83 and life just feels like it's getting back to normal. " Some care home bosses, meanwhile - many of whom have been through the hardest working year of their lives - are happy to take a more cautious approach as the country takes its first tentative steps out of lockdown. Colette Grace is matron at The Coppice Nursing Home in Oldham. She and her staff are ‘cautious’ - and she says some relatives are more comfortable seeing loved ones through the window rather than put them at any risk.
Before the pandemic, Rhoda Piggott's daughter Ivy Giffiths, 61, from Failsworth, would visit the 81-year-old six times a week for four hours at at a time.
She said: "This is a very crucial moment for us in nursing homes because everything is going to go haywire and numbers will rocket. "I don't think people are sticking to the guidelines out there and I think we will see another peak before this is over. "Although we welcome opening up and our residents having visitors, I'm going to take every precaution to keep this home safe. "All the staff and residents have had two vaccines but they are still vulnerable. Some family members are still choosing to see them through the window to prevent the risk." Colette and her team have started to facilitate visits from single family members, with plans to allow two family members in from next week. "It’s been a very testing year. Our workload has tripled, it's been very stressful," she said. "The residents and staff are paramount to me, and the safety of my home is my priority.
Matthew Callaghan, director of Bowfell House care home in Urmston, would like to see care home testing moved to Pillar One, usually reserved for the NHS
"We've all pulled together as a team but it's been very very hard to keep morale up. Staff are going home, coming to work, restricting their movements because they work here. Well done to the staff, the carers are the backbone." Matthew Callaghan, who runs Bowfell House in Urmston, welcomed the lifting on restrictions for what it means for relatives - but foresees issues with the limited number. “It’s largely great-grandchildren we’re talking about and they might not belong to the two consistent visitors so that might not work in some cases.” He said the set-up was also logistically challenging - and had a financial impact, but added: “I’m not complaining because it’s money well spent allowing families to reconnect.” Judy Downie, from the Relatives and Residents Association, said their helpline has been inundated with calls from relatives whose parents or partners no longer recognise them. She also says the Government rules have, and continue to be, too strict.
Marion before lockdown. Her family say her mental health has rapidly deteriorated during a period of little to no contact.
She said: "It's been unconscionable - some people in prisons have more rights. "We are lost for words because they are implying things are relaxed but it's absolutely up to individual homes and some might have the good will but not the facilities. "The Government should have done more earlier. "I don't understand why from Monday I can go to a pub garden but if my mother was still alive and I wanted to take her in she'd be put in solitiary for 14 days after that. " She said 70pc of care home residents have hearing loss, and this, often combined with a dementia diagnosis, has left residents scared by masks, plastic screens and lack of contact, adding: "Some people stopped visiting becasue it's torture for residents who don't know what's going on. "It's not humane, it's not decent. People don't go into a care home to be shut off from the world, they still have lives to live." Referring to the two relative rule, she added: "What happens if you have two daughters and a partner. Which daughter do you choose? Some care homes are saying two people can't visit at the same time. "We despair. The people who need the most are suffering the most." What the Department for Health and Social Care say: “We understand contact with family and friends is central to the health and wellbeing of residents, and we are doing everything we can to provide safe opportunities to meet. “As part of the roadmap out of lockdown we have updated guidance for care homes to support residents to enjoy out of care home visits in the safest way possible, while also providing more opportunities for visits to take place in care homes. “When the data shows it is safe, the government wants to go even further and allow more visits to take place.” As background, they added: As any close contact brings some risk of infection, and we are constantly assessing risks involved in out of care home visits. Whereas it is possible to mitigate and manage infection risks within the controlled environment of the care home – including by testing anyone coming into the home – it is simply not possible to control the environment outside of the care home in the same way. Visits out will be kept under review over the coming months as the government looks carefully at the effectiveness of the vaccines for people living in care homes as well as levels of infection in the local community, and the impact of new variants. In particular, we will keep under review the requirement that residents isolate on their return from a visit. The local director of public health (DPH) and director of adult social services (DASS) have an important role in supporting care homes to follow guidance on out of home visits, unless there is good evidence to take a more restrictive approach in a particular care home. Every care home has their own unique set of circumstances which will impact how out of home meetings can be delivered. The visits out of care homes guidance is in place to support and enable visits to continue. The guidance has been carefully written with the support of directors of public health, the care sector, Public Health England and Deputy Chief Medical Officer Jenny Harries to ensure that it is robust and practicable. As with all elements of the Roadmap out of Lockdown we will continue to be guided by the evidence, which we will review again before making any further changes to external visiting policy at the next step (no earlier than 17 May).
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